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What Do You Have Planned for Veterans Day?

It’s only September and November may seem like a long time away, yet for busy funeral professionals Veterans Day will arrive before you know it, so start planning now and be prepared when November 11 arrives. Here are some ideas to get you started:

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Chronicling the Substantial Rise in Cremation Rates Across the United States

The process of cremation has existed for thousands of years and became officially recognized in the United States in 1876. That year, the first U.S. crematorium was built in Washington, Pennsylvania (and not without some controversy, mind you). Although it was official, cremation struggled to gain hold within the general population for 90 years. By the 1970s, cremation rates were just around 5 percent. But in the decades that followed, that rate began to rise at a steady rate. So much so that it has now become the most popular way to memorialize the deceased in the United States.

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How your business can actually benefit from negative reviews

Admit it: receiving a negative review can feel like a direct hit to your business. Your establishment is, after all, laser-focused on offering clients the best services. And it is never enjoyable to receive criticism on something you have diligently created. Learn more about how we can help from OGR supply partner, FuneralClicks.

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Montage Your Change Journey

Are you facing a tough challenge or change at work? You might get frustrated if you expect steady progress or quick resolution. None of us is going to glide smoothly from start to finish. So, what do you do when you hit a rough patch? Your answer can mean the difference between success and defeat. Change your perspective to realize you’re collecting footage for your montage. 

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Memorial Day

You may see it in ads or on social media posts. I saw it in the newspaper for a local mattress company with a holiday sale announcement. It is the three words that anger me the most: "Happy Memorial Day." 

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Stand Out in a Time of Change

We can safely say that cremation is here to stay. With an annual growth rate of 1.5 – 3% across the U.S. and an upswing in direct-to consumer e-commerce platforms, it’s no wonder that traditional funeral homes are feeling a financial pinch when it comes to the overall decrease in revenue per funeral.

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Online Reviews: The Good, the Bad and the Undeserved

“It’s hard to deal with a loss of a loved one when cops are sitting here with radar guns. Thanks for the consideration guys!”

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Moving Forward: Post-pandemic ideas for thriving in funeral service

Now that COVID is moving into its endemic phase, we’re all breathing a sigh of relief. Everyone is tired of pandemic life. Funeral home staff, especially, have been asked over and over again to go above and beyond. Understandably, you’re tired, you’re numb, and many of you are probably traumatized.

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Meet the Keynote Speaker for OGR's Annual Conference!

Say hello to Amy Waninger! Join us in May at OGR's Annual Conference to hear her speak on how you can "move from panic to purpose" in your own business even as the funeral profession changes more rapidly than ever before. 

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FEMA tops $2 billion in COVID-19 funeral assistance, announces new campaign to increase program awareness

WASHINGTON (March 15, 2022) - FEMA announced today it has provided over $2 billion in COVID-19 funeral assistance to support more than 300,000 applicants grappling with the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. FEMA is also launching a new outreach campaign and continuing to process applications to ensure that this program -- already the largest offering of funeral assistance in FEMA’s history -- reaches additional eligible families in need.

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Be a yeti to survive change

Changes, especially at work, can be stressful. They come in a variety of forms: new computer systems, reorganizations, shifts in responsibilities, personnel turnover. We are very rarely the ones initiating the change. Rather, we are more likely to find ourselves constantly responding to a wide variety of changes, all at the same time! Therefore, it makes sense for us to spend time developing strategies to deal with this barrage.

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'No Surprises Act' saves consumers from unexpected medical bills

Have you ever had an unexpected medical bill with excessive out-of-pocket costs from an out-of-network provider? Beginning in 2022, this will be an issue of the past.

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Personalization: Are we just whistling past the graveyard?

Not that many years ago, coffee only came in regular and decaf, and most households had a choice between just three television channels. The world has changed tremendously. Consumers now expect everything to be readily available, delivered overnight, in any color they desire, regardless of what they are buying. Amazon and Starbucks created these expectations and now consumers desire instant gratification. If we think we can serve the needs of the 78 million Baby Boomers and their families in the same way we served their parents, then we are whistling past the graveyard.

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Health & Wellness Round-up: Winter 2022 Edition

The information below comes from some of the leading experts and information resources on healthy living. LIG Solutions, an OGR supply partner, has curated these articles to help keep you up-to-date on the latest news, trends and data on leading a healthier lifestyle, which can help save you money and keep your health care costs down when paired with the benefits of your health coverage.

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The pandemic changed death rituals and left grieving families without a sense of closure

The unexpected death of a friend and colleague to COVID-19 in January 2021 led me to start researching how American death rituals were transforming during the pandemic. My friend was Hindu, and while watching his funeral on Zoom, I witnessed the significant transformations that had to be made to the traditional rituals to accommodate COVID-19 safety guidelines.

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What are my health insurance options outside of Open Enrollment?

While many people enroll in their health insurance during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP, for those under 65 years old) and the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP, for Medicare beneficiaries), those are not the only times in the year where you can sign up for health coverage. There are still options available outside of OEP and AEP for individuals, families and businesses looking for health coverage.

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Young Professional Spotlight: Alexandra J. Caselli

Alexandra "Allie" J. Caselli is a 24-year-old licensed funeral director & embalmer at Leete-Stevens Family Funeral Homes and Crematory in Enfield, Connecticut.

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Spotlight on Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home & Crematory – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Marlene "Marty" Shoemaker is the co-owner & operator of Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home & Crematory in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She shared her experiences with running a successful funeral home that has been around since 1905.

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Lessons of the season

Do you ever notice that during the Christmas season, we always hear the comment “Christmas comes so quickly, it's over before you know”?

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Have you had your 2021 wellness check-up?

Here is your REMINDER to use your health coverage benefits for your annual wellness visit, dental cleaning, vision exam or any preventative care. There is still time to get an appointment before the end of the year! The healthcare industry has seen an increase in individuals and families delaying their care for both serious illnesses and general wellness visits with their doctors or care team.

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